I am starting off this post with a disclaimer. What I know about the situation is what I’ve read from raw news reports from multiple sources including Reuters and AP. When something big is up I start getting to foreign news reports more heavily than usual, watching Sky News, RT, and Al Jazera to balance what the American media might be reporting. And so this is my take on the situation.
First off, I think the Obama Administration is off its rocker. Administration officials keep harping on the issues in Iraq as being an internal political problem, as if the happenings in Iraq all center on ineptitude of the Maliki government. And Obama is sending up to 300 advisers to help set up a new ‘inclusive’ government in the middle of the chaos.
I have all sorts of problems with this given that the Obama Administration has no right to dispose of a government of a sovereign in that way. It made all sorts of grunting sounds about democracy as the military in Egypt deposed the Mursi government; and now it seems to have forgotten all of its principles. The other big problem I have with it is that the situation isn’t what the Administration says it is publically and appears to be setting up Maliki as a scapegoat which it will need once the truth comes out.
The leader of the ISIL, Al Baghdadi, had been a member of Al Qaeda in Iraq and was sent to Syria with his fighters by Al Zawahiri, formerly Osama Bin Laden’s second in command, to join up with the Syrian Al Qaeda group, Nusra and help them overthrow the Assad government. Once there, the ambitious Baghdadi wasn’t happy with the co-op arrangement after a fissure developed between the two groups over Baghdadi’s brutal tactics. In February, Zawahiri told Baghdadi to go back to Iraq (just go home). Instead, a defiant Baghdadi turned his group of fighters on Nusra, killing all who refused to pledge loyalty and join his group. And now, Baghdadi is effectively the new leader of Al Qaeda, trying to realize Osama Bin Laden’s dream of establishing the caliphate. He is fighting his holy war; and he would be doing it regardless of whatever sins were supposedly committed by the Maliki government. This is NOT simply an insurgency.
I seem to recall recently hearing politicians talk about Al Qaeda being dead. It most certainly is not dead, and the current situation is quite dire. After the reading I’ve done about it, when I see news reports that show the ISIL traveling across the desert in a convoy of little white economy cars, I wonder to myself where the A-10’s (warthogs) are. But silly me, the warthogs weren’t there because they just want to be included. Right.